The Fragile Self
Course Title: The Fragile Self - Working with Narcissistic Vulnerability, Grandiosity, Shame and Alienation
Trainer: Phil Mollon
Duration: 3 hours 48 minutes
This course explores the themes of identity disturbance, fluctuating moods, low self-esteem, shame, and grandiosity (both hidden and overt) that are common and pervasive features of psychotherapeutic discourse. These themes reflect the disruptions present in a person’s narcissistic equilibrium.
Phil Mollon explores the deep structures of these states and their developmental origins, questioning the nature of ‘self’, and the illusory identities that often structure our experience. The malign narcissism that can sometimes reside within the psychotherapeutic endeavour itself will also be outlined. By understanding the structure of narcissism, and how it imprisons the person in its illusions, we are in a better position to help (rather than further injure) the client who presents with these problems.
The course includes a look at…
(a) The clinical phenomena of narcissism, and some of the key concepts of narcissistic disturbance that emerged during the 1970s and later, juxtaposing the contrasting formulations of the ‘grandiose self’ presented by Kernberg and Kohut.
(b) An exploration of the role of the missing third, the absent paternal function which leaves the child ‘trapped in the dyad’ and captivated by the image in the mother’s mind. It also allows us to explore false selves and the delusional ego, and consider to what extent ‘all human selves are false selves’ – comparing the differing perspectives on mirroring and alienation provided by Kohut, Winnicott, and Lacan.
(c) The could also considers the darker aspects of narcissism and the traumas suffered by those who are victims of the vampiric and parasitic predations of grandiose narcissists. Narcissistic aspects of ADHD, autistic spectrum, and psychopathy will also be considered.
(d) Consideration is also given to helpful and unhelpful forms of therapy with narcissistic disturbance. Narcissistic features of the psychoanalytic endeavour itself are addressed. Finally, the course looks at the question of ‘What is healthy narcissism?’
Gain a better understanding on the topic of narcissism, and how it permeates all of our lives.
Understand the difference between insidious and problematic narcissism, and healthy narcissism.
How narcissism affects those around the narcissist, including the effect that parents and carers have on their children.
Dr Phil Mollon is a psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist, and energy psychotherapist. He is well-known as a writer and speaker on topics including shame, trauma, dissociation, self-psychology, and EMDR – and has pioneered the development of Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy.
He is author of eleven books and was the first British author to write about shame from a psychoanalytic perspective, in the early 1980s, developing this theme further in his book The Fragile Self in 1993. His Shame and Jealousy, published by Karnac in 2002, examined the profound vulnerability of these most human affects.
Find out more about Dr Phil Mollon on his profile.